New Delhi: On the occasion of the World Environment Day Friday, the Central government announced the implementation of ‘Nagar Van’ scheme to develop 200 Urban Forests across the country in the next five years.
World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change celebrates the day by focusing on the theme declared by the United Nation’s Environment Programme and organises several events.
Stressing on this year’s focus on Biodiversity, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “India has eight per cent of world’s biodiversity, despite having many constraint like only 2.5 per cent of the world’s landmass, has to carry 16 per cent of human as well as cattle population and having only four per cent of freshwater sources.”
He said that the mega biodiversity that India has is the result of the Indian ethos which is in sync with the nature.
Highlighting the Indian culture, Javadekar said that India is the only country where trees, animals, birds, and reptiles are worshipped. “This is the respect Indian society places for the environment. With this activity of creating urban forest we will also create additional carbon sink”, said the Union Minister.
Also present on the occasion was Union Minister of State Babul Supriyo who emphasized on tree plantation and soil moisture conservation and said that it works as a core strategy for biodiversity conservation in the country.
He emphasised that to address the problems of soil degradation, siltation and reduced water flow in the river basins and everyone has to work collectively.
The event also saw virtual participation from Executive Director, United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification, (UNCCD), Ibrahim Thiaw and Executive Director United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen.
The UNCCD executive director, Thaw, said, “Is it not time, that we realise that we need nature more than nature needs us, if at all. Is it not time, that we have the humility to rethink and redefine our relationship with nature. Perhaps, it is time for humanity to have a new social contract for nature.”
Stressing on this year’s theme, Andersen said that actions for nature means a lower risk of future pandemics, achieving the sustainable development goal, slowing climate change, healthier lives, and better economies.
“In a post COVID world, we need to build back better, we need to protect the planet to protect ourselves,” she added.